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Old 01-28-2011, 12:06 PM   #15
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Wow. So many replies. Thank you.

Thanks in no small part to all your comments, and a lot of the words I made below, I have decided that exceeding the GCWR (combined weight) of my TV a little I will be OK. (If you can call 1200 lbs "a little.")

Probably.

Here is my reasoning, or my version of reasoning, listed more or less in order of importance in my decision. Comments are encouraged.

1. With the exception of "combined weight," ALL of the scaled weights were below the weight ratings of the TV and the Amtrak/Avion, and by a good margin at that. (Tongue weight is the only unknown here, since I did not measure it, but it seems to me that one could get a ballpark figure on that by comparing the weight on the hitched trailer's axles to the trailer's empty weight (mine was empty) with the difference between the two being the rough, ballpark, shadetree, guesstimated tongue weight, give or take. In my case the trailer's axle weights are just a few hundred pounds or less below the trailer's empty weight, so I would think the actual tongue weight is below the 1000 lb rating if the hitch and the TV when using a WD hitch). I have no idea if this is how you're supposed to think about stuff, but it's what happened when i did. I hope the rest of the list is shorter than this one.

2. The Drive-ability of the combination of TV and trailer. The TV road like a Cadillac and never once felt like it was straining -- or even working hard, for that matter. The Avion towed wonderfully, and appeared to ride even more smoothly on bumps and such than the TV, so maybe there is something to be said for Avion's independent suspension getup under there. It would have been easy to forget the trailer was back there at times.

3. I find it hard to believe that any Avion would build a travel trailer that could not be easily and safely towed by a properly hitched 1-ton pickup, particularly when one considers their target market and the fact that most of their advertisements for said trailer show it hooked up to a big family car (like a Cadillac or a Oldsmobuick or something), including illustration in the owner's manual.

4. I will be employing the "trailer" part of "travel trailer" way more than the "travel" part. It might get towed a coupla times a year, if that. (Well, at least until I retire. At which time, if my financial calculations are correct, I will be a 103. I'm really looking forward to that carefree life.)

5. I haven't come up with this one yet -- but I bet it won't be as important as the first three -- unless one of YOU kindly provide the text here. (Please?).


Regarding all of your replies/comments/suggestions (for which I am very grateful), I will try to fill in few blanks that formed on a couple of them...

The TV's option codes do not include Z82 (towing package) which, to me, explains why the "bare hitch" trailer weight capacity of my TV is 5000 lbs instead of 7000. (with a WD hitch, the capacity jumps to 10,000 lbs on my TV.)

As for the 20 lbs that vanished between first weigh and reweigh, I suspect that 20 lbs is probably an acceptable variation from one reading to the next on a scale that can read 150,000 lbs or more. It has been my experience (trucking) that 20 lbs is also the smallest increment on such scales. Both scale tickets were within minutes of each other and on the same scale.

Also, some of all that gross weight can be trimmed off a little on the TV end. The bed cap weighs 580 lbs (steel Reading toolbox type); there were two extra not-skinny people in the cab, a nice couple, who normally wouldn't be there (it's just me and the dog normally); I had five old cracked-all-to-hell radial tires in the bed (removed from the trailer). But, then again, if I were to remove all that (I think the nice couple left already) and then load up all my travel/camping/fishing "stuff" I think it would either be a wash or even heavier. Hmm.

Also, I agree my '98 chevy is getting older, and good maintenance is critical. I tend to stay on top of maintenance pretty well, as a matter of habit -- I am 50 yrs old and have never owned a new vehicle. Probably never will. I tend to bargain hunt (as in "cheapskate"). My TV sold new in '98 for around $24,000. I have roughly 2100 bucks in the truck right now. Beleive me, if I knew how to do math I would tell you how much difference that is, and how much I probably saved. (I bought it used. It was cheap because the PO was having a hard time selling it even though many looked. He was having a hard time selling it because he "upgraded" it by swapping doors with a donor truck that had the power windows and locks he desired, which he did a very good job of installing, except he couldn't figure out where to hook up all the new wiring where there was none before. So, all the harnesses were just lying in the front floor like a bed of snakes under your feet. Obviously, the power windows and power locks were "non-functioning" -- which is kinda hard to quietly slip in to a good sales pitch. He was frustrated and tired of "fooling with it." I made an offer. Two days work to fix. It's a great truck. (Disclaimer: not all my transactions go this well. Actual mileage may vary.)

As for showing you folks some pics of the Avion when I get her cleaned up; I will take some and post them. But, honestly, there's really nothing to clean up. Or to redecorate. Or to substantially modify that would be an improvement. I mean, I'm all happy the interior is in such pristine condition (the outside could use a wax job/skin lube), but at the same time it is somehow a little unsatisfying to not really be able to improve on it by doing "re" stuff to it (-model, -build, -store, -paint, -pair, -vamp, -condition, -place). There's a lot of perfectly good, rewarding re's going to waste in my opinion.

I know... I could just re-lax and enjoy it.

After I take the pictures of course.


Comments always appreciated.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:45 PM   #16
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It all sounds good to me. Look forward to pics and problems/solutions as they occur and are settled, temporarily or permanently.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:38 AM   #17
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Hey, weight a minute here...

At some risk to myself and others within range, I started thinking again. About this GCWR thing, I mean, and the numbers not adding up, and also about hot dogs because it is near lunchtime.

Here's what oozed out:

1. The TV's GVWR is 9,000 lbs and the TV's Max Trailer Weight capacity is 5,000 lbs (with a "dead weight" hitch).

B. When I add these two together with a brand new crayon, I come up with a total of 14,0000 lbs, which, keeping in mind that I gradjiated from a gubmit public school, is exactly almost the same as the TV's GCWR of 14,500 lbs.

3. Therefore, I can positively conclude that I am wondering if the GCWR doesn't take into acount the use of a WD hitch, which, when employed, jacks up the TV's max trailer weight to 10,000 lbs (which I am way below).

4. I wish I had some mustard.

So, does that make more sense? How about any sense?
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Section8 View Post
At some risk to myself and others within range, I started thinking again. About this GCWR thing, I mean, and the numbers not adding up, and also about hot dogs because it is near lunchtime.

Here's what oozed out:

1. The TV's GVWR is 9,000 lbs and the TV's Max Trailer Weight capacity is 5,000 lbs (with a "dead weight" hitch).

B. When I add these two together with a brand new crayon, I come up with a total of 14,0000 lbs, which, keeping in mind that I gradjiated from a gubmit public school, is exactly almost the same as the TV's GCWR of 14,500 lbs.

3. Therefore, I can positively conclude that I am wondering if the GCWR doesn't take into acount the use of a WD hitch, which, when employed, jacks up the TV's max trailer weight to 10,000 lbs (which I am way below).

4. I wish I had some mustard.

So, does that make more sense? How about any sense?
The 10000 # trailer weight is for a 7.4l engine with 4:10 gears , is that what you have ?
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:30 AM   #19
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The 10000 # trailer weight is for a 7.4l engine with 4:10 gears , is that what you have ?
Hi ticki2.

The TV is a '98 Chevy 3500 crew cab longbed, single rear wheels, 5.7/350 vortec engine, 4.10 gear ratio, automatic w/overdrive, Draw-Tite receiver rated 1000/10,000 using a WD hitch. The truck is rated for 10,000 lb max trailer weight with a weight distributing hitch; 5,000 lb max trailer weight without a WD hitch. There's some more detailed weight-rating info on this rig in the original/first post of this thread.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:53 AM   #20
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Section 8

Congratulations on your new Avion and welcome.

I agree with your assessment and also with Driftless's take on it. I think it probably comes down to accelaration standards set by GM. As long as you are well under the axle ratings, I think it is a non problem.

Dan
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:22 AM   #21
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Guys,

I gotta speak up here. There is, understandably, much confusion and mis-information here. Some are looking at it backwards.

GCWR IS NOT the marketing spec! It is the gospel, along with the owner manual!
GCWR is the max amount of weight the vehicle can safely move and stop. This can be limited by powertrain, brakes or handling charactristics of the truck.

Trailer weight rating is the MAX trailer weight the vehicle can pull, dependent upon individual truck equipment and no load in the cabin or bed other than one occupant at 175# and full fluids (fuel inc). THIS IS THE MARKETING NUMBER.

The only way to know YOUR max trailer weight capacity is to take your loaded truck with all occupants to the scale and subtract your ticket weight number from the door jamb label GCWR.

GAWRs and GVWRs are all about how you position your load within the GCWR and how you distribute the weight with W/D setup.

Do the engineers build in some margin for error for GCWR? They won't tell me what it is, but a wink and a nod says for liability purposes....yes.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Section8 View Post
Hi ticki2.

The TV is a '98 Chevy 3500 crew cab longbed, single rear wheels, 5.7/350 vortec engine, 4.10 gear ratio, automatic w/overdrive, Draw-Tite receiver rated 1000/10,000 using a WD hitch. The truck is rated for 10,000 lb max trailer weight with a weight distributing hitch; 5,000 lb max trailer weight without a WD hitch. There's some more detailed weight-rating info on this rig in the original/first post of this thread.
According to the 1998 GMC trailering guide the max trailer weight for that truck with the 5.7l is 7000# in 2wd and 6500 in 4wd , you didn't say which.
Both of those are with WD hitches , the rating without WD hitch is 5000#.
The only one rated for 10,000# is with a 7.4l engine .

It would seem that the truck itself could handle the load and would not be a safety issue since the only difference is the engine and possibly the transmission , and that would be up to the individual if they feel it is stong enough.

Take it for what it's worth , good luck
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:01 PM   #23
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fj/19 ft airstream

i have a 2010 fj and i want to tow a 19ft airstream, i have not yet purchased airstream that will happen in the summer. i would like to get the fj ready for towing and would like some input. what type of vehicle suspension should i invest ? air helper springs, front and rear suspension enhancement? brake controller? do i need to add or enhance radiator to aviod over heating? how about hitch setups? i appreciate any help. thank you debra
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:12 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by dmegig View Post
i have a 2010 fj and i want to tow a 19ft airstream, i have not yet purchased airstream that will happen in the summer. i would like to get the fj ready for towing and would like some input. what type of vehicle suspension should i invest ? air helper springs, front and rear suspension enhancement? brake controller? do i need to add or enhance radiator to aviod over heating? how about hitch setups? i appreciate any help. thank you debra
What's the specs on the FJ?
GAWR Front
GAWR Rear
GVWR
GCWR
Max trailer weight limit?
What does the 19 footer weigh...and it's GVWR?

Do you have a trailer towing package (if there is one)?

Definitely a trailer brake controller. More info please
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:00 PM   #25
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Paraphrasing the great Gus, in Lonesome Dove: "My God, Woodrow, you just don't get it....!"

Ya'll come up with these grand conspiracies to make yourselves feel better about your own setups. I don't wanna make anyone mad or start something here, but many inexperienced newbees take these lines of logic as fact. That's somewhat dangerous!
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:46 PM   #26
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An interesting discussion, to be sure.

I recall reading an article a few years ago that discussed how GCVWRs were established. Basically, it's the maximum weight that the drivetrain will tow up a 20% grade. Your 350 is a little undersized for a 1 ton, but that doesn't mean that it's unsuited to towing the Avion.

In fact, it seems like you have a very well matched combination as long as you avoid 20% grades! Your hitch setup seems very good. If it tows more smoothly with your original setup, that's what I would do. That 6084 lb rear axle could stand a little extra weight.

A couple more comments. , First, I think your trailer weight is light because you are not factoring in the tongue weight on the truck. Second, since most towing miles are on fairly level roads at highway speeds, aerodynamic drag is the major factor putting strain on the driveline; weight has little effect.

Sounds like you've got everything under control. No point in wasting money on a new TV just to get more engine.
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